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‘Tis the season of sustainability

16 November 2021 • 4 min read


Most of us love the silly season and after another long year for Kiwi businesses we all deserve to indulge in a little festive cheer. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun of it all and forget about your business’ sustainability goals. However, between your Christmas party, decorations at the office, Secret Santa, and gifts for your staff, suppliers, and clients extra waste can build up fast. In this article we look at a few easy ways to keep Christmas waste under-wraps without sacrificing the fun!

Why your business should be thinking about sustainability now?

If you are like the majority of our Z Business customers, over the past year you’ve thought a lot about sustainability and have begun taking steps to make your business a little bit greener.

"This year, we've seen more businesses than ever before approach us about sustainability initiatives," says Melanie Seyfort, Head of Partnerships at Trees That Count. "It's exciting that it's no longer an optional extra to do good business that cares for the environment."

Whether you have switched to more energy efficient vehicles, kick started your sustainability journey using Sheena’s tips, or even made some small switches, the end of the year is a great time to reflect on what you’ve achieved and celebrate.

After such a year you might be ready for a well-earned break, but that doesn’t mean you need to take a step backwards on your sustainability journey. When it comes to keeping Christmas green, it only takes a little extra effort to make an impact!

The Sustainability Trust tells us that an extra 50,000 tonnes of extra waste arrive at NZ landfills in the week after Christmas each year.

“That's enough to fill 14,286 twenty-foot shipping containers, which, if stacked one on top of the other, would stretch 105 times higher than the Sky Tower, or three times the height of Mount Everest.” - Sustainability trust

Every bit of holiday waste your business avoids means a little bit less going to landfill.

Sustainable Switches

The good news is, reducing waste doesn’t have to mean cutting out our favourite parts of Christmas. Here are a few easy switches you can make to lessen your impact, not your enjoyment:

Go Digital

Consider swapping your annual company Christmas card over to an e-card. Not only does this help eliminate waste, it also helps reduce your costs! If you want to hold on to the tradition of a physical card, look at sustainable printing options such as using recycled paper.

Plan your party

A considerable portion of the waste associated with Christmas is food waste. You can help reduce this by getting a solid head count for your Christmas party and limiting your food order based on that. Ask your guests to RSVP a few weeks before your event so you can plan accordingly!

Reuse Decor

Many businesses find themselves buying cheap Christmas decorations for their office or party each year, only to throw them away come January. If this sounds familiar, then it may be time to re-think your approach to decor. Purchasing higher quality decor (preferably from a local business) that can be stored and reused year after year is a far more sustainable option that can save you time and money in the long run!

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a beloved workplace tradition, but from gag gifts, to cheap candles, to yet another witty coffee mug it is rife with disposable gifts destined for the trash can. After all, there aren’t that many useful and quality gift options for under $10. Make sure gifts are more sustainable by setting some guidelines for gifts. Themes such as edible gifts, homemade gifts, or re-gifted gifts allow for a fun exchange without creating extra waste.


Your staff, suppliers, and biggest clients do so much for you throughout the year, it's natural to want to thank them with a gift. By putting a little extra thought into this year's gifts you can be sure that they aren’t ending up in landfill and you might even be able to claim a tax deduction! Consider a donation in the recipient's name, a cash bonus, or a voucher for an experience or meal.

We’ve asked around, and our mates at Trees That Count have a great solution for you. Their consumer research tells us that 96% of your employees would rather receive a native tree gift than any other $10 present.

It’s quick and easy to organise native tree gifts for your staff and clients through Trees That Count. Send them a list of your staff, pick out your gift certificate, and write them a message. They’ll do the rest!

Native tree gifting is the perfect way to show you care: and better still, it also demonstrates your commitment to backing Aotearoa’s big backyard. The simple $10 tax deductible gift can help clean waterways, sequester CO2, reduce erosion, provide homes for our precious native species, and help our people and communities thrive.

Tags Business Sustainability

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